|Clinton Email Testimony Update
U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan announced that he will hear arguments on Monday, July 18, 2016, in our request to take testimony from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Yesterday, we submitted reply briefs (available here and here) to the court in response to the State Department’s and Secretary Clinton’s oppositions to our request for permission to depose former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Director of Office of Correspondence and Records of the Executive Secretariat (“S/ES-CRM”) Clarence Finney; and the former Director of Information Resource Management of the Executive Secretariat (“S/ES-IRM”) John Bentel.
These proceedings arise in our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeking records about the controversial employment status of Huma Abedin, former deputy chief of staff to Clinton. The lawsuit was reopened because of revelations about the clintonemail.com system (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:13-cv-01363)).
In our replies we argued, among other things, that:
Secretary Clinton’s deposition is necessary to complete the record. Although certain information has become available through investigations by the Benghazi Select Committee, the FBI, and the State Department Inspector General, as well as through Plaintiff’s narrowly tailored discovery to date, significant gaps in the evidence remain. Only Secretary Clinton can fill these gaps, and she does not argue otherwise.
To [Judicial Watch’s] knowledge, Secretary Clinton has never testified under oath why she created and used the clintonemail.com system to conduct official government business. Her only public statements on the issue are unsworn.
Very soon after making the filings, the court ordered Clinton and the State Department to file responses to our reply briefs no later than noon, today (you can view the filings here and here ). Judge Sullivan also ordered the State Department to be prepared to discuss at Monday’s hearing how much time the agency will need to search the new Clinton emails the FBI is turning over thanks to Judicial Watch’s litigation (see below).
Be sure to check the news and our website on Monday to see how that court hearing turns out.
The Clinton Email Coverup Is Unraveling
If you’ve been getting your information solely from Hillary Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch you might have assumed that Hillary Clinton’s email scandal is behind us.
Our briefs and the upcoming hearing show otherwise. We are pursuing her sworn testimony to get to the heart of her incessant and flagrant mishandling of government documents. As I wrote this week for Fox News:
It is no surprise that neither Hillary Clinton nor the Obama State Department agrees with our request to depose Mrs. Clinton concerning her exclusive use of her non-state.govemail account to house and send tens of thousands of official emails throughout her entire tenure as secretary of state.
What is notable is that the State Department finally admits that Clinton’s practice of supposedly emailing other State officials using her non-state.gov account was not an “appropriate method of preserving federal records or making them available for searches under FOIA.”
Second, it is both significant and disturbing that Hillary Clinton now asserts a private “claim of right” over her non-state.gov email account, including any of the 55,000 pages of federal records she returned to the State Department. She further claims that these and other emails, including emails that may have contained classified information, have “never been the property of or in the possession or control of the State Department.”
Also important is the difference between the State Department’s and Mrs. Clinton’s most fundamental claims as to why neither agency staff nor Mrs. Clinton should testify.
The State Department claims that no one at the agency really knew anything about Mrs. Clinton’s non-state.gov email system, so there is nothing left to say.
Mrs. Clinton, on the other hand, claims that everyone at the agency knew all about hernon-state.gov system, so, once again, there is nothing left to say.
Our lawsuit is forcing more government transparency. Following a prior court order, the State Department asked the FBI for any Clinton emails it recovered. This week the FBI wrote back that it would turn over the emails that Mrs. Clinton had either deleted or held back from the American people.
Slowly, but surely, the Clinton email cover up is unraveling.